While local hardwoods can be a pleasure to work with and can leave you with a gorgeous project, tropical hardwoods can be eye-poppingly beautiful. Whether the vividly colored bloodwood or purpleheart from South America, the highly desirable bubinga or wenge from Africa or the hard wearing teak or rosewood from Asia, these boards from the planet’s tropical areas can be a woodworker’s dream, giving your projects a style all their own.
They do come with some drawbacks, however. First, they have different characteristics than the native wood you work with, leaving a splintery mess where a clean cut should normally be. They can also be very expensive, since they have to be harvested and shipped great distances to your supplier. And, the harvesting of these trees isn’t always done in a responsible manner, possibly being pulled from forests without consideration of their future health.
This week, let us know how you feel about using these tropical hardwoods.